Summer vacation. The one thing that involves neither Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. The one thing that this election season hasn’t tainted.
When I was a kid, we took a summer vacation every year. Some of my fondest memories involve campfires, hiking, swimming, bodies of water, boats, forests, and old canvas tents that leaked when the rains came. Vacations on a dime, yes, but rich vacations, nonetheless, that somehow took us everywhere. Later came the big cities, the historical cities, both near and far. These were the places that required hotel stays. And these were the places where a particular level of decorum was expected, unlike when running free and loose in some wilderness. I was fortunate to have learned early on that there was a whole big world out there beyond my little neighborhood. This happens when you have curious parents born with a hungry wanderlust that could never quite be sated. As my octogenarian father recently told me, he never met a logging road or body of water that he wasn’t compelled to keep on following just to see where it might lead.
This summer found me far north and at times, off the grid as I experienced some beautiful parts of America. I’ve posted a few photos below.
I find myself getting wistful as I realize another summer is passing. I think I will always measure the years by the arrival of June and September as if I were still a kid in school. But, oh gosh, weren’t we all thrilled in June, and melancholy come September?
Tell me where you went for summer vacation and what you did. And if you didn’t go anywhere, tell me where you to hope to go. Some day.
Try reading the headline and 12 paragraphs out loud, as I did last night to my wife. As you do it, emphasize the parts of the story that make this a real tear-jerker about a young minority kiddo killed by those evil authority figures:
Vigil held for 14-year-old boy shot and killed by LAPD: ‘Justice for Jesse’
Te vigil Wednesday night for Jesse Romero, the 14-year-old boy shot and killed the day before by Los Angeles police, was not silent.
When it began, the crowd of more than 70 people stood in a large circle. In the center, a group of Aztec dancers yelled and blew a conch, performing to the rhythm of a drum that echoed loudly throughout Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights.
Using a bullhorn, organizer Carolyn Vera, 25, addressed the crowd: “As a community here in Boyle Heights, we’re here to denounce LAPD’s killing of Jesse Romero, in case they can’t hear us!”
In an empty lot not far away, a small group of officers stood outside their patrol cars, keeping watch.
At the vigil, men, women and children stood side-by-side, holding votive candles and signs that read, “El pueblo unido for Jesse (The people united for Jesse).”
Another stated, “No más madres en luto (No more mothers in mourning).”
The chanting focused on the slain boy, who died just a few weeks shy of his 15th birthday: “Justice for Jesse.”
But there were quieter moments: a moment of silence and the reading of a poem about the 1968 student massacre in the Tlatelolco zone of Mexico City, Mexico. Both sought to honor the dead students, Romero and anyone else killed by authorities in the U.S. and other countries.
Among those attending the vigil was 28-year-old Etujan Lopez of East Los Angeles, who said he had mixed feelings about the shooting.
“I hear different stories about what happened,” he said. “I think it’s a failure on everyone’s part.”
Lopez said there should be more community programs that help steer children away from gang activities and encourage them to get an education and professional careers.
And here comes the 12th paragraph. Can we get a drumroll, maestro? Go ahead and actually play the nine-second video, just for the drama:
And here it is:
According to the LAPD, Romero was suspected of writing gang-style graffiti in the area before leading officers on a foot chase and firing a gun at them late Tuesday afternoon.
The chase ended when Romero was fatally shot by officers at Breed Street and Cesar E. Chavez Avenue. A handgun was recovered at the scene, police said.
Indeed, there is not a shred of evidence in the story that anything happened except this: a gangster kid tagged a building, led police on a chase, and fired at them, ensuring his own demise. The End.
We’re lucky we’re not sitting through yet another funeral of a police officer killed for doing his job this weekend.
But we have to sit through endless paragraphs about a 14-year-old child — killed by “authorities” just as so many others have been “massacred” — and how the people want “justice” for him because too many moms are in mourning.
And somehow, the writer manages to convey the message: this kid was executed. There’s not a speck of evidence offered to support it. But that’s what they want you to think.
I’ll leave you with the end of the story:
Standing quietly, 17-year-old Julian Montenegro said he came out with his parents to support the Boyle Heights community that he lives in. He said he is bothered by the shooting.
“It’s really awful,” he said. “It instills fear in people of color.”
Not far, Lopez stood silently. His eyes were watery.
“I’m in tears right now,” he said, his hands on his waist. “With tragedy things might change.”
He paused, looking at the crowd.
“Hopefully they’ll change.”
Hopefully! Yes: hopefully gangsters will stop firing at cops. But until such time as it does, “justice” for people like Jesse Romero is going to look a lot like, well . . . the justice that Jesse Romero got.
Sorry I haven’t been heard ’round these parts recently. I have been on vacation for the past several days and am just starting to wind it down. Here is your latest progressive newspaper social justice fail, courtesy of the Olympics.
Simone Manuel of the United States Olympic Swimming Team pulled off an upset win in the women’s 100 meter freestyle on Thursday night, defeating a tough field which included Australia’s Cate Campbell, the current world record holder; Cate’s sister Bronte Campbell who had won the event at last year’s world championships; Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the event; and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, who had won the 100 meter butterfly and finished second in the 200 meter free earlier in the competition. Manuel finished in a dead heat with Penny Oleksiak of Canada and thus tied for the gold, and became the first American woman to win the event since 1984 and the first Yank to win it in a non-boycotted games since 1972.
Manuel, who is set to begin her junior year at Stanford this coming fall, also happens to be the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in an individual swimming event at the Olympics, so naturally in this day and age that distinction became the big story to our race-obsessed media. The New York Times, ESPN, and NBC all made her race front-and-center in their coverage of her remarkable achievement, with the Washington Post trotting out the requisite academic/journalist to bloviate on how the history of segregation at swimming pools has allegedly stymied generations of black Mark Spitzes and Katie Ladeckys. In today’s America — Barack Obama’s America — we can no longer focus on the outstanding accomplishment of one of our fellow citizens without running it through the noxious lens of racial grievance-mongering.
But taking the gold in the social justice olympics was the San Jose Mercury News, famous on the race-hustling scene for promoting the overwrought and probably phony story that the CIA had sponsored the crack cocaine epidemic in urban American in order to raise money for the Contras in Nicaragua. Immediately after the race, the newspaper published the following headline on their website and then tweeted it out:
Sure, it could be the case that a racially-insensitive headline writer is responsible for this mess, perhaps someone who is so bored with the diktats of social justice that he or she just defaulted to the racial aspect in the headline. But if I had to bet, I would guess that it is far more likely that a racially-hypersensitive headline writer, whose views of social justice were shaped by a college journalism program and the reigning groupthink of the newsroom, saw nothing wrong with promoting the race angle as the attention grabber to the story. To the modern social justice warrior, everything is focused on racial/ethnic/gender identity, so why wouldn’t ze or zir subsume the person of Simone Manuel in favor of the identity of African-American?
Alas and alack, that appeared to be a bridge too far for the more conventional progressivism of the Mercury newsroom, sort of like being in favor of gay marriage in 2004 was. The newspaper immediately apologized for the “offensive” (to whom, one is left to wonder) headline which was rewritten to focus on Manuel’s local connection with Stanford instead of her heritage. Perhaps in a day or two we will be treated to the counter-reaction in which the Mercury is lambasted for downplaying the significance of race in the story. It’s always fun to watch the earnest progressives tread lightly in the grievance minefield.
Tonight Simone Manuel goes for a second individual gold in the 50 meter freestyle and then later she hopes to anchor Team USA to gold in the 400 meter medley relay. Go Simone. Go USA.
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